한여름의 일기장

*Diary*

In the summer of 2012, I kept a diary while I was in Korea for the first time; and, it felt natural to write in Korean while I was there. It was also something that I had wanted to do ever since I read 딩구는 돌은 언제 잠깨는가 (When Does a Rolling Stone Awaken) by 이성복 (Lee Seong Beok); and, my diary chronicled the time I spent in Korea– the time when I, a rolling stone, was awaken.

6/17/12, 술집에서 생긴 일

깊은 밤속에, 술과 사람 사이에 뭔가를 태어나겠다. 오늘의 꿨던 꿈은 아직도 우리 몸속에 숨을 쉬고 있었고 그 꿈은 말로 표현할 수 없어서 서로에게 한 번의 깨지기 쉬운 웃음이 잠깐동안 나타났다. 술은 입으로부터 내려갔고 꿈은 마음속으로부터 올라왔다. 토해 하고 싶었다. 우리 몸에 있는 술을 말고, 우리 마음속에 있는 꿈을.

나는 한 편의 영화처럼 내 살아왔던 시간을 보고 있었고 그는 담배를 피고 있었다. 그는 이 담배연기에 내 한숨을 보인다고 말했다. 나는 그 담배연기에 그의 삶을 보았다:

천천히 내뱉는 것–
무겁게 하늘위로 올라가는 것–
외롭게 흩어지면서 사라지는 것.

그는 담배를 끊겠다고 말했다. 나는 네 삶도 끊겠다고 대답하지 못 했다. 또 내 옛 남자친구와 똑 같은 담배를 피고 있었다. 그 담배를 보고 나는 사랑에 실패했다고 생각을 했다. 나는 사랑먼지에 내 한심한 한숨을 보았다. 그 밤에, 그 술집에서 그는 담배를 끊었고 나는 사랑을 끊었다.

밤만 다시 태어났고 우리는 취한 걸음으로 길을 나섰다. 비틀비틀 클럽까지, 집까지. 뒤돌아 보면 길을 잃어버린 적도 많았고 서로에게 기대했던 적도 많았다.

이상한 하늘 밑에서 항상 어지러웠지만 내 조국을 보고 싶지 못 했다.

6/18/12, 텅 빈 우주

오늘 기다렸다. 그남자를 기다리면서 실망 느끼지 않은 방법은 처음부터 기대하지 않은 것을 알아냈다. 그래도 소용이 없었다.

이미 늦었다고 생각했다.

내 옛 남자친구가 나를 떠난 순간부터, 나는 이 텅 빈 우주에 어떻게 살겠다고 생각을 했다. 그 순간부터 어떻게 여기까지 왔을까?

기억에 없어야하는 일들이 있어서, 기억에 잊어야 하지만 잊지 못 한 남자 하나가 있어서…
꿈은 꿈일뿐이란 것도 알아냈다.

6/19/12, 아프지 않은 아픔을

몸부터 마음까지…
다 아팠다.

6/21/12, 기다림

기다렸다. 기다리다가 잠을 잤다. 꿈속에서도 기다렸다. 누구를, 내 꿈을 기다렸다. 깼다. 보낸 메일의 답장이 없었다. 그남자가 오늘도 오지 않았다. 아무것도 없었다. 쓸데 없는 시간 속에서 내가 누군지를 깜빡했고 내 의지와 상관 없는 인생을 살 고 있다고 생각을 했다. 그래서 더 이상 기다리지 않은 내가…
내일도 기다리겠다.

“그 사람들은 다 괜찮겠다고 말을 했지만 그 사람들은 거짓말을 했다. 그 사람들은 아파도 아픔을 느끼지 못한다.”

내 말은 오늘 아무 일도 없었다.

6/??/12

같은 하늘밑에 있어도
다가가지 않은 우리 발 걸음

머물러 있지 못 했고 떠나간 사랑을
불러고 불러도
끝없는 하늘밑에서 벽같은 사람을, 벽 같은 시간을
미리지 못한다

나는 울지도 못한다.
사랑은 떠나면 다시 돌아와야한다.

가벼운 마음으로
이별

7/02/12, 심장이 뛰네

세상을 바뀌는 순간, 살면서 그 순간을 항상 기다리고 있었다.

그 여자는 밥상위에 자기 꿈을 토해 했다.

“To love, to be loved, to be a loved.”

나도 언젠가 그런 생각으로, 그런 마음으로 살고 싶었다. 그 남자를 잊지 못 했지만 그 생각을, 그 마음을 잊었다. 그 여자는 그말로 내 세상을 한번더 바꿨다. 사랑은 뭔지를 잊은 내가 그여자의 눈과 웃음사이에 사랑을 한번더 보았다. 사랑을 한번더 느꼈다.
부족하지 않고 얼마나 소중한 사랑…

그 남자는 웃었다.
눈과 웃음 사이에 어떤 매력을, 어떤 잃어버린 꿈을 보았다. 그 남자의 손을, 내 잃어버린 꿈을 잡고 싶었다. 내 힘과 희망이 없는 손은 천천히 내밀하면서 내 마음속에서 힘과 희망의 씨를 뿌렸다.

내 심장은 아직도 뛰고 있었다.
그 남자를 잡을 수 없어도 그 사실만으로…
나는 행복했다.

7/07/12

헤어진 후, 일년동안 그남자에게 아무말도 하지 않았다.
근데 그남자를 잊지 못했다. 잊은 척. 사랑하지 않은 척. 행복한 척.
솔직히…
매일 그 남자 추억과 함께 살았다.

그래서 잠 이 안 오는 밤에서 옛남자친구에게 편지를 보냈다.

“뭐 해요?
잘 지내요?
시간 많이 지나갔는데 아직도 네 생각 많이 하고 때론 울고 때론 웃어요. 너에게 대해 고민을 많이 해요. 다리는요? 일은요? 좋은 여자를 잘 만나고 있을까요?
뒤돌아 보니까 나는 여자친구로서 많이 부족했어요. 그래도 아직도 너를 보고 싶고 네가 행복했으면 좋겠어요. 너와 같은 하늘 밑에서 네가 살고 있는 세상을 보고 힘과 희망이 돼요. 네 말처럼 많이 늦지만 네 말처럼 너를 잊지 못 해요. 너에게 많은 것을 배웠기때문이요. 사랑, 배려.
항상 미안하고 고마워요.
나를 만나지 않을 것 같아서 그냥…
또 다시 이별하기 전에 어느 날밤 내 사랑하는 옛남친에게 혼잣말 같은 이야기일뿐이에요!^^
잘 자요~
이제 나도 잘게요.”

두시간 동안 자고 있었다.
잠든 사이에 그 남자에게 연락이 왔고 나를 깼었는데 모든 것이 꿈 같았다.
그 남자의 목소리만으로 그의웃음을 느낄 수 있었다.
오랫만에…

복잡한 내 마음, 그 남자를 다시 잡고 싶었다.

7/17/12

어제는 내 심장이 멈췄다. 그 순간에 나는 왜 죽지 않았을까?

7/22/12

처음 왔을 때 아무 것도 없었다. 빈 마음으로, 맨 손으로 왔는데 내 지친 몸, 내 죽은 마음 뭔가를 다시 느끼기 시작했다. 와로움. 그리움. 아픔. 슬픔. 눈물 속에서 웃음도 나왔다.
만족. 행복. 희망.
또 사랑.
그리고 사람.

세상에서 살고 있었고 세상에서 소중한 사람과 사랑은 제일 중요한 것을 다시 느꼈다. 포기 하지 말고 아직도 죽지 않았다. 마음은 따듯해 졌고 웃음 속에서 잠을 잤다.

7/25/12

네가 나를 흔들렸다.
어지럽다.
어디로 가야하나?
너에게 다가가야할 발걸음은 갑자기 멈춘다.

8/05/12

그남자랑 취소된 약속. 이제 혼자 먹을거다.

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The Road to KCON 2014, Part 2

*Diary*

Don’t forget to check out The Road to KCON 2014, Part 1, but in an important and exciting update to start Part 2:

Unni bought our KCON 2014 tickets this morning!

We were SO worried, because we had planned on getting P2 Loge combo tickets (sitting), but last night KCON announced that ALL tickets would be sold by “best available,” which meant that we would have to wait for P2 General Admission combo tickets (standing) to sell out FIRST.

Well, like I told unni, I don’t trust KCON since they are so unorganized!

As expected, we were able to purchase the tickets we wanted– P2 Loge combo tickets, immediately; and, we are in P2 Section 30, Row 2, Seats 12 and 13– for both nights of KCON!

Seating at KCON 2014~

Tickets and seating at KCON 2014~

^^

 I also did some more shopping and picked out the rest of my outfits yesterday when I got home from work since dollskill was having a MAJOR sale!

Unni says she did more shopping, too, of course.

I’m thinking about doing this for “airport fashion” instead of whatever I picked before– with my Betsey Johnson hot pink and black skull print weekend bag:

Top~

O/S Top~

Bottom~

Rainbow slick garter leggings~

Shoes~

Misfits platforms~

I’m not sure when yet, but I will definitely put these pieces together and wear them during KCON! And, I want to pair my Misfits platforms with this Misfits duffel bag:

Hel...~

Hel…~

...lo~

…lo~

I also got another peachy pink dress:

OMG~

Peachy pink and sexy sporty~

Again, to be worn with these shoes…

Broken Glasses &Blood Kicks~

Broken Glasses &Blood Kicks~

… And this bag.

Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

Kyaaa~

Kyaaa~

I also got some accessories, like glitter lip gloss (that smells and feels amazing) and cute hair ties that can also be worn as cute bracelets.

Glitter lips~

Glitter lips~

So cute~

So cute~

Even cuter!~

Even cuter!~

Now I’m just waiting to knock on my neighbor’s door at the hotel and have CNBLUE (or BTS) answer!

… Wishful thinking?

Well, let a girl make a wish!

*Crosses fingers, closes eyes, and makes a wish*

Okay, even if I don’t sleep and eat next door to some of my favorite Korean idols, I know unni and I will have so much fun! We have been planning and planning and buying and buying (especially me since I needed a plane ticket to LA– where she already lives), so it’s nice to be READY TO GO!

And, even though I don’t know who is performing on what date, I do know that these are the artists set to perform at KCON 2014!

The lineup with dates... &B1A4!~

The lineup with dates… &B1A4!~

I’m MOST excited for CNBLUE, BTS, SNSD, IU, and G-Dragon, but I hope that B1A4 gets added back to the lineup, because I want to see them, too.

<3

The Road to KCON 2014, Part 1

*Diary*

OMG…

KCON 2014~

KCON 2014~

So, this– me going to KCON 2014, is actually happening!

I am buying my plane ticket on Tuesday, and unni will be buying our KCON tickets (P2, so please God let her click fast!) on Friday since I will be at work when tickets go on sale.

We’ve both already booked our hotel (we both got suites) and planned our outfits, so here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store!

A Sneak Peek at my KCON, “Kpop Idol” Look

Lots of pink, mint, and black… and some well-placed bunny ears.

Look #1

Pink Me, Please~

Pink Me, Please~

I got this in mint as well, and I will probably bring both when I go to KCON just because I am obsessed with sets right now.

Look #2

This! The above shirt will be worn open over this dress or tied around my waist when I wear this dress~

The “boy beater,” white ribbed tank dress~

Denim button down shirt~

A simple but fun denim button down shirt~

This shirt will be worn open and over my “boy beater,” white ribbed tank dress– minus all the red bandannas and chunky gold jewelry of course, or tied around my waist when it gets too hot.

Hmm, I will probably wear this outfit when I fly into L.A., just because it is super cute and SUPER cozy and will allow me to adjust from hot to cold to hot again.

Look #3

Black open back dress~

A black, open-back dress~

For a night out, or a dressy day out, too!

There are more looks to come, of course, but I’ll save those for later since I haven’t planned more than three looks yet.

Of course, no outfit is complete without some kicks and a match-y bag!

Broken Glasses &Blood Kicks~

I call these my “Broken Glasses, Broken Bones, &Busted Lip” Kicks~

I’m only bringing one pair of shoes, and these are it!

… Yes, I travel LIGHT.

After much hunting, I am totally satisfied. These are the bomb, and they even come with a lilac heart-shaped adjuster over the laces that can’t be seen in this picture.

It took me awhile to find a bag, and I wasn’t sure if I should do silver, holographic, or black, but I LOVE this one and think it will look perfect with my outfits and kicks– it’s a good size, too:

Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

A Super Cute Quilted Bunny Ear Bag~

Kyaaa~

Kyaaa~

As for unni, she will look fabulous as always. She is planning some 40′s vintage looks to wear to KCON 2014, and I can’t wait to see them. I still remember when she told me about a girl she tried to travel with who wouldn’t let her wear what she wanted to wear since they wouldn’t match or compliment each other…

Yeah, we’re not worried about that.

It feels like I’ve known her for much longer even though we first met in South Korea last winter– what a trip with so many ups and downs!, and haven’t even seen each other since then.

I am SO lucky that she lives in L.A. and that she actually wanted to go to KCON with me, too. We started talking again once I graduated from law school (and had more time to just BREATHE), but I didn’t think I would get to see her again so soon!

^^

But, the road to KCON 2014 in L.A. also includes a pit stop in Houston for Kpop Star 4 auditions!

Am I auditioning?

No, I’m just tagging along with one of my best friends.

Like me, she’s already had her 1 second of fame, but this will be a fun trip and quite the adventure for both us before she leaves to go back home to China.

My parents live near Houston, but we will probably be staying at our best friend’s house, which is actually IN Houston. I’m also getting a dog, and I need to figure out where he will stay since I’ll be traveling– in America and not South Korea or Africa, for once!

P.S.: Girls and women, don’t be afraid to work hard, make your own money, and spend it HOWEVER the hell you want.

<3

Girl’s Night Out (Again): Attack of the Korean Foodies

*Diary*

So, we’re all Korean foodies, which means that we all love Korean food; and, we did not hold back any of our love for Korean food yesterday, as you’ll soon find out.

We started out the day (thankfully minus a hangover this time) with Tous Les Jours, a famous Korean bakery chain that is also located here in Austin, Texas.

Tous Le Jours is right next to noraebang, a Korean market, and tons of a few Korean restaurants.

Outside~

Outside~

Inside~

Inside~

I got a lot of stuff, but my favorites were the cinnamon twist and sausage bread!

Nom nom~

Nom nom

I also enjoyed the view since there is this really cute Korean boy who works there. My friend and I are already planning to go back to see him…

^^

Then, we did some grocery shopping at the Korean market and some clothes shopping at Buffalo Exchange after we ate at Tous Les Jours. We both bought kimchi and ramyun, but I also bought some shoes that will be revealed later in our G.N.O. pictures!

Afterwards, we went back to my apartment and Candi and I made ramyun. She made kimchi ramyun, and I made my favorite: Squid ramyun with fish cake and egg.

More nom nom~

More nom nom~

After that, we– me, Candi, Sandi, and Alex, met up for dinner at the Korean bar. I ate as if I hadn’t just eaten ramyun a few hours ago.

Mandoo~

Mandoo~

Bulgogi~

Bulgogi~

Samgyubsal~

Samgyubsal~

We stuffed our faces and also shared a bottle of soju before splitting the check and heading back to my place to pre-game.

We took a few pictures before going downtown, and here are our best shots:

Candi, Sandi, & I~

Candi, Sandi, & I~

Candi, Sandi, &Alex~

Candi, Sandi, &Alex~

Well, what happened next will be one of those, what happened in Austin stays in Austin things. All you need to know is that we danced until our feet hurt– REALLY hurt, and had a great time.

So, are you a Korean foodie?

Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for some of the blog posts that you (might) have been waiting for!

Girl’s Night Out: Tequila, Sushi, &Kpop!

*Diary*

My friend and fellow blogger Candi came to visit me! She arrived on Tuesday or Wednesday, but after a busy week at work I finally got to meet her on Thursday. We started out with happy hour at an all you can eat, BYOB sushi bar. My oppa works there, and as soon as I walked in (tequila in hand), someone said:

“Jennifer?”

I was like…

“Yes…?”

Then, they ushered my friend and I to the bar where we were seated. They called my oppa, and after saying hi to him we immediately began to eat whatever they made for us, which was great, because I don’t really eat sushi that often and had no idea what the hell was on the menu!

Anyway, my oppa made this for me since I graduated from law school:

10308205_10153095865150931_7706780299914550502_n

A rose~

Then, after asking me to choose Black, Asian, or Mexican (I chose Asian), the manager made this for all of us, including my other friend who had arrived just in time to start eating with us:

A ...~

A “gochu“~

Everything was so tasty and creative (if a little creepy), but my favorite sushi was definitely the yellow tail! They also made some sushi with bulgogi on top for my friend, and I remember eating and eating and eating…

And drinking LOTS of tequila.

Afterwards, the three of us met my friend and her friend, and we all went downtown where we met up with more of her friends. It was a fun night, and afterwards I took Candi back to her hotel.

But, in the morning I woke up with a terrible hangover that I nursed almost ALL day. Around 4:00 P.M. I was finally able to start cleaning and getting my apartment ready for the weekend– and Candi since she’s staying with me now!

Anyway, we were both really excited for I <3 Kpop, a Kpop only club event here in Austin, Texas. My friend Sandi also joined us, too.

Candi &I~

Candi &I~

Sandi &I~

Sandi &I~

Sandi &Candi~

Sandi &Candi~

We pre-gamed and headed downtown. It took forever to find parking, but soon enough we were there!

One~

One~

Two~

Two~

Three~

Three~

I wanted Candi to go on stage as well, but she didn’t want to even though she was definitely the best dancer there. I just danced like a stripper how I always do…

^^

I also got to see and hear a ton of my favorites like EXO, BTS, and 2NE1; and, I got to see and hear GOT7 for the first time! I totally fell in love with their voices and charming good looks.

They also pull off aegyo really well!

One~

One~

Two~

Two~

And, in case you missed it:

So, we definitely danced all night, but I also took a few (typically bad) pictures of some fellow Kpoppers who I thought were cute and (kind of) stylish.

Two~

Fellow Kpop Lovers~

All in all it was a great night, and I can’t wait to go again next month!

Are there any Kpop events in your hometown?

If so, tell me all about it in the comments. If not, then you might need to pack your bags and move…

>.<

From Austin to Ktown to South Korea!

*Diary*

I’ve been busy here in Austin, Texas!

I partied for almost a week with friends AND family after I finished my last final on Tuesday the 13th, graduated from law school on Saturday the 17th, and started working at a nonprofit law firm on Monday the 20th!

Yes, I like my job and the people I work with, although I am definitely still “learning the ropes.” And, when I come home from work, which is an amazing feeling now that I’ve redecorated my apartment home, I have so much free time that I just don’t know what to do with it– except relax and do absolutely nothing…

Nothing other than watch my shows and hang out with my friends.

After all, it is summer!

Anyway, I am waiting to start my third job as a proofreader. My second job (I’ve had it for a year or two now) is writing for various clients that I receive through my agent.

Both are remote, so I just work at home.

^^

Work hard…

Play harder!

For me, “play” includes everything from partying (usually with my friends– not my family) to watching my shows to blogging, so stay tuned for more from The “Feeding Your KDrama Addiction” Series along with The Top 6 Reasons People REALLY Go To South Korea and Preparing for Life in Korea: Working in Korea.

In the meantime, HERE is something different to watch, a hilarious web series about life in Ktown for one Korean-American who’s brand spankin’ new to L.A.:

When John Kim (Lanny Joon) relocates from the comforts of his picket-fence, WASP neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia to the alluring city of Ktown Los Angeles, the land of sultry women, Booking Clubs, and late night taco trucks, his arrival immediately sparks the most epic night of his life. His cousin, Jason (Shane Yoon) introduces John to his audacious crew (Peter Jae, Danny Cho, Sunn Wee, and Bobby Big Phony Choy) who teach John the basic yet inventive ways on how to survive the perfect Friday night in Ktown.”

Honestly, we’ve got late night taco trucks here in Austin, Texas, too. In fact, ours are all day! Other than that little fact I have to add that I LOVED this show because it shows a different side of Korean culture– the (very) American side!

And, my friend and fellow blogger The Traveling Kimchi, who is currently in South Korea, is having an awesome giveaway, so be sure to watch and listen to what she has to say:

As for me…

"I'll be back."~

P.S.: I’m working on an Ask Your Unni  thing– just your typical advice column, so start asking me any questions you have about life and love in South Korea on my Ask Your Unni tumblr blog HERE.

^^

사랑에 실패할수 없는 이유

*Diary*

나는 사랑에 실패했다.

그래서 무서운게 없다고 잘 알면서도 나는 무서웠다. 다시 사랑한다면 그때 처럼 너무 아프지않을까?

무서웠지만 오랫만에 어떤 남자에게 열린 마음으로 다가갔고 어떤 남자와 눈을 마주쳤고 어떤 남자의 손도 한번 잡아봤다.

그랬는데도 사랑에 다시 실패했다.

하지만 사랑은 무서운 게 아니고 사랑은 그자체로 성공이다란 걸 알아냈다.

나는…

나는 단순히 누군가를 사랑했다.

우리 다시 사랑할까?

The reason that you can’t fail at love is because love itself is triumph– if not always success.

^^

Like Santa Claus, Dream Jobs Just Aren’t Real

*Diary*

I’m currently watching a Korean drama, The Queen of Office, that delves deep into what it means to graduate and struggle to get a job, to get a job and struggle to keep it, to lose a job and struggle to remember the true meaning of work and life when you finally find a new one– even if it’s just at an office.

What I’ve learned:

You might end up with a job instead of a career– with coworkers who aren’t peers, but work in and of itself isn’t what makes us happy and fulfills us. Despite what we’ve been told, it’s the people we work with and the people we work for– be it for ourselves, for our family and friends, or for others, that make us happy and fulfill us.

As one of my best friends, who is also in law school, said:

“Change your perspective instead waiting for something that won’t come. Ultimately, your ‘dream job’ is something you create or work your way up to.”

If you don’t believe that my friend or a Korean drama could ever be so profound, then take it from the words of Mike Rowe from the hit show Dirty Jobs right HERE!

Or, you could just take it from me…

I’m finally graduating from law school in less than two weeks. It’s been a rough and tumble, three-year long ride with many bumps along the way, but I’ve enjoyed getting the chance to make my dream of helping others– no, of helping the undeserved and underrepresented get access to justice come true.

From studying abroad at the Sungkyunkwan School of Law in South Korea to completing a human rights internship in South Korea to completing a legal internship at my school, The University of Texas at Austin, where I helped undergraduate and graduate students instead of North Korean refugees– I’ve found out that the reason I set out on this path is also the reason why I have stayed on it.

Like many others, I had a dream. Mine was simple: To help others. I knew that being a lawyer would help make my dream come true, but there was a difference between the dream that I wanted and the dream that I needed– between the lawyer that I wanted to be and the lawyer that I needed to be.

Yes, being a public service lawyer working in the nonprofit sector is my dream, but it was a dream that I didn’t know I had until I started and almost finished a ride that left me banged up and bruised, severely stressed and often depressed.

It was my family, friends, and a few professors who kept me from jumping out of a fast moving vehicle. They told me to keep my eyes on the road, to look ahead. They helped me remember my dream and to envision a future in which my dream was a reality– if I could just get there, with them.

Along the way I learned more life lessons than I have in my entire life– but of course, not all of them. Most importantly, I learned that dreams, like many things, are often what we want but not what we need.

No, it wasn’t and won’t be easy, but I’m slowly coming to terms with my dream as it meets reality. And, if you don’t want your dream to die, then you have to give it the shape, the structure, and the strength for it to fit into the world. Because, it’s easy to say that you want to be something– that you want to do something, but the world and the people in it don’t care unless you’re capable of being something, of doing something.

In the end, which is really only the beginning, I learned how to articulate my dream, and I just have, but only after it had already come true…

Come true?

I’m about to accept a job offer– not for my dream job, but for the job that will help me continue to make my dream of helping others come true.

We all have dreams, but until we’re ready to be who we need to be and not who we want to be– until we’re ready to do what we need to do and not what we want to do, then our dreams will stay dreams.

Finally, for my readers who dream of living and working in South Korea

Working in South Korea is very different from working in North America. In fact, even working with South Koreans– or any other culture of people, in North America is different from working with other Americans.

(Everything is always at the last minute, and once everything is said and done– wait, it never is, then you can finally relax and go out together where you’re definitely bound to eat, and drink… and drink… and drink… and sing…!)

When you can understand South Koreans’ occasional prejudice against and often total misunderstanding of foreigners, their eternal sense of hierarchy and never ending emphasis on social status– be it rich or poor, oppa or dongsaeng, sunbae or hoobae, and their love for life, liquor, and noraebang, then you might be ready to live and work in South Korea.

If you have no idea what I mean, then stay tuned for the long awaited and perhaps forgotten third part of The “Preparing for Life in Korea” Series, Working in Korea. Be sure to click the link to check out parts one and two along with a special post about when I was scouted by OnStyle Korea!

P.S.: Feeding Your KDrama Addiction will be back soon, maybe by tonight if not by tomorrow! I’m sure you’re hungry, but I’ve been too busy feeding my own KDrama addiction…

>.<

The Ones Who Never Leave

*Diary*

It’s late at night. You’re at home, alone. You could be doing anything, but let’s say that you’re watching Korean dramas or eating ice cream– maybe both.

That’s when it comes. That’s when it always comes: A text message.

This is not just any text message. It’s a text message from a boy you thought had left. Maybe he had left a few days ago, but it could have been a few months ago or even a few years ago.

He wasn’t what you wanted, or so you like to tell yourself. In reality, though, you weren’t what he wanted– a secret you keep and let out only when you’re drunk enough to hide nothing from yourself, from even a stranger.

Either way, both of you disappeared from each other’s lives, but it was his text message that brought him back into yours.

After the world and the millions of people in it refused to tread softly on your dreams, you decided to sleep without dreams even as you lay in the arms of boys and men that  you desperately wanted to love and dream of. It wasn’t that life was a nightmare for you, either– it was that you were a nightmare.

(Looking yourself in the mirror was impossible as the eyes of some devil or demon or maybe just some desperate girl stared back at you.)

But, you were okay.

You were okay until you looked into his eyes and saw someone else staring back at you. Yes, you wanted to be the girl who was there in his eyes, and you wanted to claw and crawl all the way into his heart, kicking out or even killing anyone else who dared to make a home there.

You kept more secrets, because by then you were used to being unable to face the truth.

He was always on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but then– you both were. You ripped each other to pieces one night– no, there were many nights when the words between the two of you cut flesh and left a trail of blood as you each traveled home in opposite directions. You were always moving farther and farther away from his heart, but you kept clawing and crawling until he kicked you out, but it didn’t kill you.

Bloody and bruised, you were at your worst when you finally saw him again. Words flashed like knives. Was it the flowers he suddenly gave you or the look in his eyes as he put them in your clenched, broken hands that had forgotten how to bloom?

You had to open your hands to catch those yellow and purple flowers before they fell to the ground, and you did. You did, didn’t you?

It was the first time anyone had given you flowers.

(Even the man you were going to marry hadn’t given you flowers, even though he had given you everything from his platinum credit card to his soft lips to his black heart.)

It may have been the first time you breathed ever since he– the man you were going to marry, left. Yes, he wasn’t going to come back, but the ones who never leave– you suddenly realized that there were two types of boys and men who would never leave you.

The first type you had already met– the ones who sent you text messages days, months, or even years later after you had already erased their numbers from your phone. After all, you didn’t love them and knew that you never had– never would.

(They didn’t love you either.)

The second type you met that night– the ones who didn’t bother to text you but were quietly waiting for you to call. Isn’t that what he said that night, that he had been waiting for you to call?

He said a lot of things that took you a long time to understand, but when you did you laughed at yourself. All those times you thought that he was ripping you to pieces…

He was only trying to put you back together again.

(It’s not that you were never leaving, either– no, you… You were never there.)

So you called him, and even though it was just a text message that he sent in reply to you much later, you could hear his voice in your head, echoing loudly and bouncing off the walls of your ears, escaping and calling out to you from some far away place called the future.

After a first love or a true love has already come and gone, it takes a long time to fall in love, again.

Happy Endings

*Diary*

My ex-boyfriend was a butterfly that would always fly away if I didn’t pin him down; and, one day he flew too far away, and I couldn’t pin him down. He flew into the arms of someone else, and she pinned him down. His smile isn’t as bright as it used to be, but I like to think that he’s better off pinned down– settled down– married.

For years, there were many people passing in and out of my life, and I think I, too, was flying– floating– drifting… and fading away. We were all struggling to fulfill the promises of our youth, unaware of the promises we were breaking by living for what had already come and passed:

“Yet must I think less wildly: — I HAVE thought

Too long and darkly, till my brain became,

In its own eddy boiling and o’erwrought,

A whirling gulf of phantasy and flame:

And thus, untaught in youth my heart to tame,

My springs of life were poisoned. ‘Tis too late!

Yet am I changed; though still enough the same

In strength to bear what time cannot abate,

And feed on bitter fruits without accusing fate.”

– Lord Byron

If my ex-boyfriend taught me anything it was how to love someone other than myself. Only, without him it was impossible to love even myself, and I began to fly away, too, into the arms of all the wrong boys and men.

One day, she pinned me down with a New Year’s kiss, and even when she flew away, too, her pins and promises remained in my body. Afterwards, I realized that I had been surrounding myself with friends who were strangers in disguise.

After all, we couldn’t pin each other down, and we couldn’t promise each other anything but an unhappy ending– together yet apart.

Three years was a long time, and for the first time as I look at my friends and my family, it feels that way.

Over bulgogi burgers– we always have serious conversations over bulgogi burgers, one of my closest friends and I talked about the butterflies in our lives.

She’s still struggling to pin someone down, and I am, too; but, my closest friends and I– and I can count them on two hands with a few fingers left to spare, have all learned how to pin each other down with the promise of a happy ending– together even when we’re apart.

There will be more weekends like this one filled with dinner, drinks, and dancing– filled with laughter, shared glances, and arms linked in arms. We’ll say hello to new friends even as we say good-bye to old ones, but we’ll never forget those moments that turned into months and years, building layers and layers of friendship, of love.

We’ll never forget each other:

“그리고 어느날 첫사랑이 불어닥친다./ And one day your first love strikes.

그리고 어느날 기다리고 기다리던 사람이 온다./ And one day the person you’ve been waiting and waiting for comes.”

– 이성벅/Lee Seong Bok

When your first love strikes, when the person you’ve been waiting and waiting for comes, don’t fly away.

Pin each other down with promises of a happy ending– together even when you’re apart.

P.S.: This weekend Tao 2 and I were in the middle of a fight when he handed me flowers that he stole from the street. I dropped them, but he picked them up and gave them to me again. In that moment, I wondered what we were fighting about and smiled. Later, I listened more carefully to what he– the first boy to give me flowers, was trying to tell me instead of what I was trying– was wanting, to hear.

A lot of girls like to tell me that they would have taken more from him by now, but I learned a long time ago not to take more than what someone wants to give.

Youth IS short, but life is long; and, the people who live to be loved and to love are somehow forever young, forever capable of believing in happy endings…

^^

Why My Life is like A Noona Romance

*Diary*

I’m still happily watching Let’s Eat, but it’s almost over!

Let's Eat!~

Let’s Eat!~

This means that I’m about to have a “My Kdrama Just Ended” induced panic attack.

>.<

As if this wasn’t bad enough, I just finished watching I do, I do. I LOVED every moment of it, and I was sad when it came to an end– sad like an addict who doesn’t know when she’ll get her next fix…

So, I definitely had a “My Kdrama Just Ended” induced panic attack already!

Thankfully, I was able to get my much needed noona romance fix immediately with I Need Romance 3 and postpone the next panic attack until (hopefully) much later. Although I wasn’t interested in or impressed with Season 1 or Season 2, Season 3 is definitely my (new) Korean drama addiction:

Noona romances!

(Opposites attract!)

Anyway, this is THE story of my life– well, at least right now.

After all, part of being a noona is working a lot, and I’ve worked two to three jobs all throughout law school, and this semester (my last semester!^^) is the first time that I’m taking a break and not working AT ALL– Daddy’s orders!

I’ve also had a string of younger boys passing in and out of my life ever since I turned 21, but now that I’m 24 I think at least one of them is here to stay…

But, I could be wrong– after all, like isn’t REALLY like a Korean drama where happy endings arrive in 16 (or 20) hours!

Okay, there are three main ingredients in every noona romance.

Ingredient #1: The (Workaholic) Noona

Work hard~

Work hard~

Work REALLY hard~

Work REALLY hard~

But always play harder~

But, play even harder~

I love work. In fact, I’m about to start another (unpaid) internship since I have absolutely nothing to do but sleep, eat, and study sleep on Fridays.

In addition, I might be 24, but after being in love, engaged, dumped, and in a downward spiral that lasted a very long (but short) two (or three) years, my heart is at least  35 years old.

-

Oh, and I definitely work hard but play even harder, which is why I got absolutely plastered with one of my best friends and ended up “whiskey kissing” a much-older-than-me, incredibly stylish but not-more-stylish-than-me writer from New York who works as a journalist for National Geographic…

Oh, the out of towners during SXSW are always an interesting bunch!

That was last weekend, and I can only blame the terrible excitement of Spring Break for those shenanigans– not myself.

(I can also blame the bottle of soju, pitcher of whiskey coke, and double shot of whiskey…)

Ingredient #2: The Good-looking Dongsaeng

Like a virgin~

Young and like a virgin~

While all of these dramas star dongsaengs, Park Tae Kang from I do, I do (played by Lee Kang Woo) stands out in particular since Tao 2 is also, well, a virgin

*Sigh*

Yoon Doo Joon who plays the young, slick, and handsome Goo Dae Young in Let’s Eat also stands out, however, especially after watching this BTS kiss scene; and yes, here’s a major spoiler that you probably can’t shouldn’t resist:

-

Since I have two very valuable sources, I just want to say that I think it’s a younger Asian Guy “thing” to think that you HAVE to have a six-pack before you can lose your virginity… 

*Rolls eyes*

Ingredient #3: (At Least One of) The Three Stages of Womanhood

Stage 1, “Nobody Loves Me”

Well, you just started dating (or so it seems), but before you knew it your heart was trampled on by one guy after another.

Now, you’re in the “Nobody Loves Me” Stage. Basically, since you’ve convinced yourself that nobody loves you, you live life with your Bitch-face on… At. All. Times.

Best bitchface ever~

Bitch-face~

But, you cry like a baby when no one is watching, or when you’re drunk and then suddenly everyone seems to be watching…

Stage 2, “Me, Myself, and I” 

Well, you tried to be a Good Girl (or at least not a Bad Girl), but after one too many bad dates, your wounded, broken heart says enough is enough.

It’s time for Stage 2: “Me, Myself, and I.”

Sleeping alone, waking up alone,  and even eating alone are all common, natural parts of this stage.

I got this! Table to myself because that's not awkward or embarrassing at all~

Eating alone is easy to do… said no one (in Stage 2) ever~

After all, you don’t need anyone– right? You’re fine alone– on your own, right?

You’d like to say yes, but that’s probably a lie.

-

It’s fun to watch Lee Soo Kyung in Let’s Eat, but it’s frightening to watch Kim So Yeon, who plays Shin Joo Yeon, in I Need Romance 3. I’ve only watched two episodes so far, but the things that she does and the things that she says remind me of The Dark Ages– no, not those Dark Ages, my own.

Apart from going from a naive girl to a jaded woman in the blink of an eye, she also ended up throwing herself at even the good guys (and then throwing even the good guys away) because she couldn’t tell the difference between good guys and bad ones…

And, because she couldn’t tell (or just refused to admit) that there was something wrong– not with them but with herself.

Memorable, “Deja Vu” Inducing Lines from Episodes 1 and 2 of I Need Romance 3

I literally got goosebumps when I was watching this drama, especially when Shin Joo Yeon said the following:

“When I see these couple rings I think of all the times that I failed at love, and I’m counting how many times it takes until I find my true love.”

“Feelings… Feelings aren’t important to me.”

“There’s another romance around the corner.”

“Nobody loves me.”

“But, I’m fine.”

Boo-hoo, blah blah blah.

GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!!!

Stage 3, Getting Your Shit Together

Yes, life is hard, and it seems to be even harder when you are a woman.

We are people, too, but since the beginning of time (whenever that was), we’ve had to bleed from our vaginas, pop out babies, and stay at home to take care of them. Ambitious dreams, a real job, and a lifelong career?

No, those are for boys and men…

Well, not any more.

We want to be women– the very smack dab center of the circle of life, but we also want to be the center of our own worlds, too, and that means getting our shit together so that we can have our cake and eat it, too– have a fulfilling career and a loving family, too.

A little office romance~

A little office romance with your Baby Daddy, because there’s no place like work to make money… and love!~

However, it’s incredibly difficult to be successful in your work life and love life all at the same time, so I admire and envy the (workaholic) noona who finds a dongsaeng who really understands her AND loves and accepts her the way she is– without trying to pressure her or change her.

-

Anyway, I haven’t even had time to think about dating anyone seriously ever since I got into law school, and even though I like Tao 2 my major focus right now is on getting a job– not getting him “over Level 9000.”

That’s a DBZ– Dragon Ball Z, reference.

Remember, in THIS (recent?) post I said the following:

“I still get to touch his arms and abs but other than that it’s taken us two months(?) just to dance together. I think what helped was showing him different “levels,” which he actually made up while watching me and my friend dance together a weekend ago– yes, he’s a nerd…

Level 0 is him standing there while I dance ‘on’ him, face to face but not really touching. Level 3 is ‘gentle grinding.’”

… Now do you get it?

^^

So, what are the main ingredients that make up your favorite Korean drama– your life; and, what stage are YOU in?

Maybe you skipped some stages but most likely you didn’t.

As for me, I’m somewhere in between Stage 2 and Stage 3, which isn’t a bad place to be. I’m not a mess, but I am used to being alone; and, it’s hard to get my shit together since I’ve never really been good at balancing anything. I either work too hard or play too hard or work AND play too hard, which leaves ZERO room for dating– let alone “romance.”

There are also plenty of decent-but-undateable-because-they’re-bland-and-boring older men in my life along with a few best friends who have unique, interesting stories of their own to complete THIS noona romance called My Life.

(Thankfully, my parents haven’t started telling me to get married– yet.)

Where in the world is westerngirleasternboy?

*Diary*

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego westerngirleasternboy?

I’m actually at my internship right now. We had another “winter weather” warning in Texas last night, so our campus– The University of Texas at Austin, didn’t open until 11 A.M. today.

Of course, I got here a little after noon.

Anyway, I am in my last semester of law school, which is a three year “thing.”  I just realized what a blur these past three years have been now that I have time to slow down and do the things that I used to do BEFORE I got to law school– things like getting dinner with friends during the week, watching more than one Korean drama at a time, and even teaching myself new languages.

(I’m finally studying Japanese again!^^)

But, this semester I haven’t been busy because of my internship OR school but because of job applications and job interviews.

Last week I went to an interview for my “dream job,” which is basically international business transactions to help international students get access to higher education here in the United States, but I was a little underwhelmed once I got there. Now, I’m applying for more practical jobs– think estate planner or financial advisor, and I’m hoping to hear back from them soon.

Like, sometime this week, please…

However, there’s something else– or someone else, that’s been taking up a lot of my time, too.

Tao 2.

By now I’ve seen his nerdy side, and he’s seen my crazy side. We’ve both learned to always understand but sometimes ignore each other, which is definitely a Good Thing. More importantly and surprisingly, this weekend he made the first move and danced with me.

Not a big deal, except for the fact that he doesn’t dance with anyone.

Not even when my friend tried to push him on our other friend. Not even when I tried to push him on my friend– we both thought that he liked her, but more on this misunderstanding later. Not even when two lesbians grabbed him– that time he screamed for me to help him and then watched me dance with them instead.

He’s very conservative, so we’re taking things slow– like turtle slow.

I still get to touch his arms and abs but other than that it’s taken us two months(?) just to dance together. I think what helped was showing him different “levels,” which he actually made up while watching me and my friend dance together a weekend ago– yes, he’s a nerd.

Anyway, this past Friday night I asked him if he was ready, and then I TOLD him, “Level 0!,” but on Saturday night he came over, asked, “Level 0?,” and actually put his hands on my hips, which is NOT a part of Level 0! My friend and her boyfriend were so surprised when he grabbed me that they literally leaned back and made “O”s with their eyes and mouths.

(It was So funny– even though I was drunk and don’t remember much about that night, I can still remember their faces.)

 Of course, I went to “Level 3.”

(Level 0 is him standing there while I dance “on” him, face to face but not really touching. Level 3 is “gentle grinding.” Hey, you get what you grab for!)

Of course, on both nights he didn’t last very long– he’s a shy boy, but it’s a start.

But, we did have A LOT of misunderstandings pop up between us and not just because we are so different from each other. As I said, my friend thought that he liked her, and I agreed at first just because he was so nice to her. I mean, he’s not really nice to me! So, I finally asked him if he liked her, and he said no. 

What’s going on, right?

Well, he thinks that he’s being friendly with girls when he says or does certain things, but really– he’s being a flirtHe’s also really cute, so I think know that girls don’t see him as “just a friend,” which I explained to him and he already kind of knew. Then, he said something about wanting to “be ugly” and shaving his head…

*Rolls Eyes*

Shaving that precious, perfectly styled black hair? Over my dead body.

Almost everything he says is ridiculous or funny, like this past weekend on Saturday night when he complained about my “boobies” touching him when we hugged. Ugh, he probably thinks that I have cooties

He’s an interesting, rare mix of cute and sexy, boyish and manly, but more importantly I have the time of my life whenever he’s around because he’s funny.

As far as putting on my war paint and going to battle, I think this is more of a race:

“There once lived in a forest a hare and a tortoise. They were good friends. But the hare always boasted that he was able to move faster than the slow tortoise. At this, the tortoise felt humiliated in front of other animals. So one day he challenged the hare in a race. The fox was made the supervisor, and the lion the judge.I There was a starting point and a point marking the end, fixed by the fox.

Both the competitors started their race at the same time. The hare ran faster. He was naturally much ahead of his slow friend. Now on his way the hare wanted to take a little rest under a tree, because he was sure of his win. And he soon felt asleep.

On the other hand, the tortoise moved slowly but steadily without any rest. He reached the destination before the hare arrived. When the hare woke up, he found that he was defeated by his tortoise friend.”

The Moral of The Story:

Slow and steady wins the race.

So, this girl– a hare by nature, is going to turn into “a tortoise.”

In other news, I made some new Korean friends, which is refreshing after having so much trouble with Tao 2! We met them downtown, and then we all went to noraebang together. They were SO much fun, and they were  excited to meet us, and I was excited to meet them, too.

New friends~

New friends~

The one who took the picture is like a samchon, or uncle, and I’m sure you can tell since he is right in front! But, one of them didn’t make it into the selca, and he is the “funny one” who wants to get Korean BBQ later.

Anyway, spring break is next week!

I am going to RELAX alone, and when I’m not relaxing alone I’m going to PARTY with my friends– and try to get into the Kpop concert at SXSW featuring Jay Park and Hyuna.

So, stay tuned, since I AM still here on planet Earth– there are no Do Min Joons in my life, although Tao 2 is kind of like an alien sometimes…

벌써 삼년

*Diary*

This song is called “Already One Year,” and it’s by Brown Eyes. It’s the inspiration for my own “벌써 삼년,” or “Already Three Years.”

헤어진지 벌써 삼년…

벌써 삼년인데 왜 그대 얼굴과 그대 향기와 그대 목소리와 그대 착하고 따듯한 마음을
아직도 이렇게 잘 기억하고 있을까?

너도 나처럼 잘 지내지 못 했을까?

잘지내야지.

나없으니까,
나랑 헤어졌으니까…

더 좋은 여자를 만나야지.

그리고
그여자랑 결혼해야지.

나만 힘든게 충분하니까.

그래,
내 마음은 내 의지와 상관없이 아직도 너를 잊지 못 했어.

그래,
내 마음은 내 의지와 상관없이 아직도 너를 기억하고 있고 또 기다리고 있어.

너 없으니까
너랑 헤어졌으니까
힘들기만 하고
더 좋은 남자를 만났는데–
분명히 만났는데,
너 아니면
사랑은 안돼.

설마 아직도 너를 사랑한다?

누군가 대답 좀 해,
내 바보 같은 마음 말고…

I know many of you are practicing Korean, so I hope that you can read this fairly simple Korean (about my complex, confusing emotions– maybe it’s just PMS) and learn something new!^^

Quick Tip: Write in Google Docs to check your spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. Just highlight a word or phrase, right click it, and then click “Research.”

In addition, singing along to Korean songs while reading the hangul is a great way to learn Korean, and for more tips on how to learn Korean go here.

The Way to My Heart is Through Your Credit Card

*Diary*

What happened three years ago (and what happened last night) has absolutely nothing to do with money and everything to do with trust and love.

So, this is one story that has to start with my ex-boyfriend…

My ex-boyfriend left his very nice home in Apgujeong at the age of 16 and started working at the Samsung in Suwon. Like a good Korean son, he gave his first, very big paycheck to his mom and continued to spoil her after that. He had the heart of an angel… and the tattoo of a crucified angel on his back.

(Although some of you might not know it, having a tattoo in Korea can mean certain things, and he was definitely a “bad boy.” He loved bikes and owned a gorgeous Harley Davidson… or two. He would also tell me stories about growing up in Korea– stories that made me laugh and cry, but those aren’t meant to be shared.)

After losing his sister in a terrible accident, he decided to leave Korea and ended up working at the Samsung here in Austin, Texas. After six months of being here, he got into a fight while at a club downtown and decided to go to a different club– the club where we first met. Young, drunk, and having fallen in love with him at first sight, I followed my heart, and my feet led me off the stage where I was dancing and right by his side.

After drinking and dancing the night away, we walked to his car. On the way, he gave me his jacket since it was cold, held my hand, and asked me to be his girlfriend.

Of course I said yes.

He was my first boyfriend, and he spoiled me with Betsey Johnson, fancy dinners, and yes, his credit card, but he also spoiled me with couple toothbrushes, daily phone calls, and a broad shoulder to cry on. I was 21, Nigerian-American, and inexperienced. He was 27, Korean, and experienced. Despite our differences– no, because he was patient, understanding, kind, and saw beyond our differences, we stayed together and– as crazy as it sounds now, almost got married.

(He proposed to me the night before he left for Korea with an 18K gold ring that his mother had given him. It fit perfectly on my ring finger, and I wore it off and on for the next two years even after we broke up, but– like many things, I learned to let it go.)

Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened and who I would have become had we not met, but then I can’t imagine not knowing him and not being who I am today because of him.

As for him, he broke up with his girlfriend (again) and recently bought a new apartment… and a new Lamborghini. As for his credit card, I found it buried underneath my old ones a few days after I moved into my new apartment last year. It reminded me of how much he did for me– how much he trusted me– how much he loved me.

It wasn’t about his credit card, and it wasn’t about being spoiled by him. It was about the amount of trust that it took for him to give me his credit card, and it was about being someone that he wanted to share everything he had with…

It’s strange, but a credit card– what was just a sad souvenir from three years ago, brought a smile to my face this weekend.

Friday Night

I went to my internship in the morning, and (as one of my friends already knows) I was anxious and worried all day. Would I really get to see Tao 2, or would he end up going swing dancing on Valentine’s Day with another girl after all?

Well, my friend told me to think positively, and I did. I got my hopes up– not too high, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed despite the drama that was about to unfold!

My friend and her boyfriend, aka Mr. Awkward, came over to my apartment around 11:00 to pre-game, which is when you drink BEFORE you go out.

Pre-gaming~

Pre-gaming~

We got ALL dressed up, but if you don’t have anything nice to say about either of our outfits, then please– don’t say anything at all.

Garter socks~

Garter socks~

She's my best unni~

She’s my best unni~

Us~

Friends (and sisters) forever~

Surprisingly, everything went as planned– at first.

As “planned,” even though I was supposed to text Tao 2 first, he texted me first, and he met up with us downtown as soon as he got off of work.

(As I found out later that night, he’s a sushi chef and a part-time student. He works to support himself, and he just bought a new car, which is impressive since he’s only 22!)

We got some drinks at the bar and started dancing, but it didn’t take long for my friend and her boyfriend to start fighting (again)– this time for real.

(He’s a flirt.)

By the end of the night, Tao 2 and I were with his friends, and we were all outside of my favorite club– just talking, when he suddenly wished me a Happy Valentine’s day and gave me a hug. Since my friend and her boyfriend were still fighting, this was the perfect chance to ask him to take me home!

Anyway, I haven’t been that excited about being in the passenger seat of a car for awhile, and we had a short but sweet car ride together. I definitely ended up liking him even more after we talked, and we made plans to hang out again on Saturday night.

Saturday Night

On Friday night when we were all outside, I made plans with one of his friends that I immediately clicked with, and she and I pregamed at my place before going downtown. Soon after, one of my best friends from high school, college, and now law school met us downtown once she was done studying; and, Tao 2 met us downtown once he was done working.

(Nothing can tear my best unni and I apart– not even her crazy boyfriend, so of course they met us downtown, too– just later on in the night.)

Anyway, the four of us were at the bar in one of my favorite clubs when Tao 2 Epic Failed at ordering drinks– his expression was sooo cute, so I said that I would buy a round instead. I was standing there ordering our drinks with my friend standing in between us when he reached across her and handed me his credit card…!

*Sigh*

Of course, only my friend (who knows literally everything about me AND my ex-boyfriend) and I knew what had just happened, and we smiled at each other secretly.

There was something about the way they both gave me that little piece of plastic that really touched me– maybe it was the look of trust in their eyes, or maybe it was the surety with which they didn’t hesitate to hand me something that is so hard to share. After all, it’s one thing to share your “crayons,” but it’s another thing to share your credit card!

(Think about whether or not you would give your credit card to someone else– for a minute or for a lifetime.)

Anyway, there were SO many unexpected and amazing things that made last night special, like when my new friend and I bonded over drinks, discovered our mutual love for Korea (and Kpop), and blasted EXO in my car on the way downtown… like when Tao 2 was doing his Dance Dance Revolution dance and a “fanboy” ran over and told him how “dope” it was… like when Tao 2 stepped on my shoe and grabbed me (Korean drama style) and said after I mildly seriously freaked out about my ($200.00) Stylenanda shoes getting stepped on, “I was just worried about you, not your shoes!”

… Like when I was in a circle of my new and old friends– just drinking or dancing, all of us having fun and happy together.

^^

Tao 2 has tentatively agreed to let me take him shopping, so if he lets me dress him then I will definitely share that here!

This Tuesday, though, my new friend and Tao 2 will definitely go get Korean food (my idea) before going to his place to hang out and play video games (his idea). I have no idea if she likes video games, but I do!

All in all, I had a great weekend, and I am ready to get back to school and my internship, which is going REALLY well. I’m also waiting to hear back about a “dream job” here in Austin that I applied for– international business transactions and access to higher education for international students, so wish me luck!^^

Love is A Battlefield

*Diary*

If only life were an RPG (Roleplaying Game) where we all walked around with our “Relationship Hit Points” hanging over our heads– that way we would all know who was heartbroken and who was “ready for battle.” We would also know everyone’s “level”– from Noob to Nymph to Ninja, and the tricks and tools that they had in their “inventory.”

After all, love is a battlefield.

Let me say it again:

Love is a battlefield.”

Why?

Well, you have to fight for love, but outside of RPGs and virtual reality it’s no longer all fun and games.

You have to fight against yourself– be it your own insecurities and doubts. You have to fight against the competition– be it real or imagined. You have to fight against society– be it because of race or culture. You might even have to fight against your family and friends– all for the person that you love.

However, when girls and women “fight” for the person that they love, then they become open to the following criticisms:

1. He only sees you as a friend.

(Doubts and securities affirmed.)

2. You’re not good enough for him.

(Competition– real or imagined, wins.)

3. You guys don’t really go together.

(Negative stereotypes in our society– reinforced.)

4. I don’t approve.

(YOUR relationship, judged by your family and friends.)

So, instead, girls and women lose the battle against themselves and never do anything for the person that they love– be it expressing their emotions to the person that they love or actually “fighting” for the person that they love; or, they lose themselves in a mindless, meaningless competition– lose their love in a society that somehow twists love and turns it into hate– lose their family and friends

I was doing my best to understand one of my best friends who waits by the phone– one that has only been ringing sporadically at night for the past year and a half, when I realized that instead of trying to understand her I needed to make her understand why I think that she is worth more than a late night phone call from a guy who only calls her when he needs her but never takes the time to call her back when she needs him, when she misses him.

She looked dull and tired, and I could tell that her Relationship Hit Points would be in the red zone and flashing brightly over her head. Even though I was stuffing my face on a spicy bulgogi burger, I had been waiting for this moment for so long that I knew exactly what to say.

Well, I thought I did, but in the end after our burgers disappeared and other hungers remained, we both knew that she was still going to go home and wait by the phone.

I told her later as we were texting each other:

“You’re a person. You have feelings, and you shouldn’t push them aside just because he does.”

Suddenly, she texted me back, shouting:

“THAT’S RIGHT. I AM A PERSON, TOO!”

However, it’s easy to forget that we are people when there are boys and men who will treat us like objects for so long that we forget how to feel, how to move– and move on; because, speaking our minds and sharing our hearts is something that we’re also criticized for, and when we do just that we’re often called “crazy” or “too emotional” and told to “calm down.”

Feelings

They’re weird. They’re awkward. They’re stupid. They’re embarrassing.

YES!

They can definitely be all of those things, but do you know that one of the most amazing feelings is to meet someone who listens when you speak and holds your heart carefully in his hands so as not to break it, because it is a treasure? BUT, before you meet someone like that, you have to stop waiting by the phone for a call that may or may not come.

You have to be willing to be open and honest, vulnerable and brave.

You have to be willing to give someone your words and your heart. 

Now, I’ve heard the same old story several times now, but it’s just a work of fiction:

“There’s always another guy around the corner.”

This other guy, he’s supposed to be Mr. Perfect, Mr. Destiny– someone who is somehow better than all the boys and men who came around the corner and entered into my life before him.

Well, let me tell you:

Over the past two or three years– however long it’s been since I’ve broken up with my ex-boyfriend, I soon slowly realized that if I don’t make the time and effort to appreciate the value of the boys and men (and people) in my life NOW, then I won’t suddenly be able to do it in the future, with someone that I might meet someday

For her, it was realizing that she was a person with feelings.

For me, it was realizing that I was no longer heartbroken.

For you, it will be some silly or serious (and strange) realization that takes you back to the battlefield, too; and, home-baked cookies and honest confessions are not for every girl and probably even fewer women, but I would like to tell you to put some in your “inventory,” at least today, whether you consider yourself a Noob, Nymph, or Ninja.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day!^^

It’s Valentine’s Day, and for me, it’s a day that’s less about cards, candy, chocolates, teddy bears, jewelry, and fancy dinners (and flowers) and more about making sure that I’m OKAY– that I have enough Relationship Hit Points to be something other than heartbroken– that I’m on the battlefield, fighting for (or finding) the person that I love in big (or small) ways.

Leggings Aren’t Pants &Other Rants

*Diary*

I’ve got some ranting to do!

Leggings aren’t pants!

Girls (and some boys), you know who you are.

YOU– you’re guilty of leaving the house in leggings so tight that I (and everyone else with eyes that work properly) can see your ass, crack, and pantyline. No, you don’t check the mirror before leaving the house, or maybe you do and you just don’t care, so you leave the skirt and shorts in the closet where they don’t belong.

YOU– you’re everywhere…

I go to the University of Texas at Austin, and I know that college students here pride themselves on being cheap and eating every meal at Wendy’s– or an equally cheap (or cheaper) place, but I know they can afford pants.

They just choose not to wear them.

Look, I don’t know if anyone has ever said this before, but leggings aren’t pants; and, I’m tired of seeing so much ASS everywhere I go: BIG ass, small ass, no ass…

Tribal printed ass, striped or solid ass, rainbow colored ass…

>.<

Am I Still in Highschool?!

It’s really hard for me to text Tao 2. We’ve been hanging out every weekend, and we always talk a lot. I even got his number, but…

There’s one small problem that is getting in my way.

He’s really popular– like, disgustingly popular. I stalked stumbled upon his Facebook pake, and I saw all these random girls that were liking AND commenting on his pictures, so I quickly ran away without adding him, because I didn’t want to be one of those girls.

Random like those girls from Sweden.

Random like those girls saying:

“Oh, but I drive by your workplace every day.”

(Really.)

ONE of his Facebook pictures has 97 likes, but it could easily be more by now.

I mean, that’s not the real problem. That’s just Facebook. The real problem is that it’s Valentine’s Day on Friday, and when I asked him about his plans for the weekend today, some bitch girl had already asked him to go swing dancing (swing dancing?!) on Friday.

So, now I’m stuck in this awkward position of wondering whether I should try to get him to hang out with me on Friday instead or just see him on Saturday.

I mean, I feel like I’m in highschool right now, back to wondering what I should type into that little box on my phone before hitting send.

Thinking about Valentine’s Day Friday is giving me a headache. Thinking about him is giving me a headache…

He’s actually really funny and normal, which is weird, because I wasn’t expecting him to be. We speak the same language; and, by that I just mean that even though I speak both English and Korean it’s rare to meet a guy who actually understands what I say, what I do, and what I mean.

He really understands me; and, girls in general, too.

For example, when I asked him about his plans for Friday and Saturday, he said that “a friend” had asked him to go swing dancing. So, I said:

“Girl friend? Are you sure she’s not asking you out for a Valentine’s Day date?”

Then, he said:

“Not really a girlfriend. I don’t know what she wants.”

What she wants?

WHAT SHE WANTS?!

I’m also annoyed at myself for giving a shit for liking him so much that I’ve actually gone into Crazy Mode, but he’s always telling me to touch his arms and six pack and saying funny things…!

>.<

Okay, I think I’m done ranting.

I feel better, so I’ll share my current Facebook Status:

“I was walking to the PCL– it’s a library, when a boy (who turned out to be from London and visiting a friend for two weeks) stopped and asked me if he could “be cheeky.” He said something about liking my hair– it was braided, because it makes me look like I just stepped out of a fairytale. We had a nice chat; and, of course, I gave him my number when he asked for it.”

If a nice guy asks for my number, then I will give it to him. I might text him when he texts me, but I probably won’t actually bother going out with him.

If I was interested, then I would have asked for his number– just like I asked for Tao 2′s number…

*Sigh*

Sorry, that was only two rants and a Facebook status, but it’s naptime!^^ Maybe I’ll think of something cool to say to Tao 2 in my dreams…

Tao 2, Tryhard Dongsaeng, and The Buff Gentleman

*Diary*

I managed to take a few pictures before racing out to meet my friends, and this was the best one only good one.

Ootn~

Ootn~

They were nice enough to come pick me up so we could go to Dirty 6th together, but when I walked outside it was unexpectedly cold and drizzly, but by then it was too late to change into something warmer!

>.<

Anyway, last night was definitely interesting; but, I’m not sure where to begin to tell this tale, so I’ll just jump right in…

Tao 2

Tao 2 is SO cute– really, he’s adorable, but my friend’s boyfriend is the most awkward and annoying person alive right now. We were all at one of our favorite clubs, and my friend and her boyfriend were briefly separated from us. Tao 2 suddenly said something to me that I couldn’t hear, and when I asked him to repeat it he said shyly as he played with his hair:

“No, I don’t know.”

Then, I did hear him say, “Go dance,” so I followed my friend and her boyfriend onto the dance floor, and he followed along like a good little boy right behind me.

A few minutes later, Mr. Awkward and Annoying says:

“Hey, why don’t you teach him how to dance?”

*Awkward moment*

Tao 2 is very shy, and he got embarrassed and fake punched Mr. A and A before telling me that he doesn’t know how to dance. I smoothed the moment over as best as I could, but I definitely wasn’t going to “teach him how to dance,” which I made clear. After all, I’m not a dance teacher, and I don’t have any reason to teach Tao 2 how to dance OR to dance with him UNLESS he asks me.

Later, I definitely explained the following to Mr. A and A: That if Tao 2 wants to dance with me, then he’ll ask me– that Mr. A and A doesn’t need to make things awkward for me OR Tao 2 by trying to intervene on his behalf.

(He may have been asking me to dance earlier, but I really couldn’t hear what he was saying!)

Anyway, Mr. A and A is always trying to hook Tao 2 up with girls, but I think Tao 2 has fun doing his own little dance revolution thing all by himself. I talked to him when we were outside, and he said he doesn’t really like clubbing here, because he can’t “dance.”

I just laughed but not in a mean way.

Then, we went to my favorite club– we always go right before downtown closes, and Tao 2 bought us ALL some shots– by now we had picked up two more girls, so there were quite a few of us. As always, he was quickly surrounded by a horde of girls, and that’s when I met Tryhard Dongsaeng.

Tryhard Dongsaeng

TD is a gu boy– “Shin,” but last night when I met him for the second time ever he was suddenly older– 23. I let it go, because Korean guys (around here) are always lying about their age:

“I’m a freshman, but you know Korean guys have to go to army for two years, so that’s why I’m older.”

… Sure.

First, some important information:

I have a “friend” who slept with TD, probably the same night that I met him, which was over summer.

Why does this matter?

Well, some Korean guys (around here) think that just because my “friends” are open, that I am open, too, which might explain why he kept trying to kiss me while we were dancing AND why he asked me when the club closed and the lights came back on:

“What are you doing after this?”

I just said that I was going to go outside and look for my friends, because he was trying WAY too hard. I don’t even know why I wasted my time dancing with him, but I was a little too drunk to make good decisions, anyway.

So, I ditched him and found my friends, and except for Tao 2, we all went to another club where we were waiting in line in the freezing cold before I finally left to take a taxi home, which is how I met The Buff Gentleman.

The Buff Gentleman

Well, there’s nothing like walking alone and wearing a short skirt and tank top after 2 AM on Dirty 6th. From Beyonce to mamasita to things I shouldn’t say on my blog, I heard it all within just two blocks.

Thankfully, to my left there suddenly appeared this gorgeous, icy blonde, green-eyed buff gentleman (but no taxis) who talked to me (normally) and asked me where I was going. I let him know that I was trying to catch a taxi and go home, so he said:

“I can catch you a taxi.”

We ended up walking and talking together for QUITE sometime before my friends texted me letting me know that they weren’t going to go into the club after all and could take me home.

So, TBG walked me ALL the way to where we had parked, and he also got my number and said that we should get breakfast sometime.

He texted me around noon, and we have been texting all day since then, so breakfast sometime might actually happen!

Not a bad way to spend Saturday night!^^

Anyway, after all that happened, my friends and I ended up meeting some of their friends at karaoke, so we got to sing all night before my friends dropped me off at home.

I will be seeing Tao 2 again next weekend, but another funny story about him:

He was saying good bye to me and extended a fist for a pound. I froze in disdain, and when I blinked and opened my eyes suddenly his fist was a hand. I blinked again– still not pleased, and when I opened my eyes he was hugging me.

Girls, sometimes, boys can understand what you mean without you saying anything at all.

Tao 2

*Diary*

Uhm, you might know Tao, but you might not. Either way, you should. He’s a Chinese member of EXO, and definitely one of my biases. He’s 20 and a typical growing boy who loves to eat.

(This noona would make sure that he’s never hungry.)

Sexy Tao~

Sexier tao~

Sexier tao~

Sexiest Tao~

Sexiest Tao~

Anyway, Tao 2 is Taiwanese and the cute version of Tao.

Cute Tao~

Tao 2 is friends with my friend’s boyfriend, so I see him a lot– usually downtown. He’s VERY popular with girls, but he is one of those hot nerds, so he doesn’t know what to do with them, and I don’t think he wants to do anything with them, either.

I tend to ignore guys who are REALLY nerdy and “unprofessional” like that, but we’ve been seeing each other a lot lately. He even hugged me when he saw me last night, which was a surprise since we never even speak to each other.

(I literally met him through another friend like a year ago, and I’ve talked to him, like… twice? I don’t even say hi to him, and he usually doesn’t say hi to me either. Thus, surprise!)

Anyway, I went out last night in a pretty big group– like 6 girls and 2 guys, him included. There was one more girl, but she got caught with her fake ID and had to go home.

>.<

Ootn, or "outfit of the night"!~

Ootn, or “outfit of the night”!~

(My Stylenanda shoes that I bought in Myeongdong!^^)

Fast forward to sometime after 2 when the clubs had closed, and we were all standing outside of our favorite club. There were two girls staring in our direction, and then they came over to say hi to me– I mean, to say hi to Tao 2.

They were literally throwing themselves at him, but he just maintained his composure and kept his distance. They left, and he actually hid behind my friend’s boyfriend and giggled shyly and excitedly when I told him that those girls liked him. He was holding onto his friend’s shoulders and peeking out from behind him like a little kid– so cute but SO unnecessary.

Anyway, there was this funny moment when he was taking off his button down shirt. He was wearing some sort of sleeveless tee shirt underneath, so I reached over to fix it for him– I don’t like when people look messy or are exposing too much skin (and he was definitely doing both), and he flexed instead.

Priceless.

It’s very rare for a guy to do something that makes me smile, but last night was a good night.

I also met a super country boy from Corpus Christi who bought my friend and I some whiskey coke, and we had a nice conversation at the bar before smooching (on the cheek) goodbye.

I also danced with a guy who has been trying to get to know me since last year, but I’m not the best dancer, and he actually asked if I was “from overseas.”

… Overseas, where girls can’t dance?

He’s tall, black, and a very good dancer, so maybe he was a little underwhelmed by my lackluster hip-shaking. To be honest, I don’t dance with guys (or dance well with guys), but he’s really sweet, and his friend was dancing with my friend, so it would have been rude AND weird to say no.

All in all, it was a good night!^^

(And, I got to drink a lot, too, so I was happily hungover today.)

I might go out again tonight, because I need to have as much fun as I can before another BORING week of work, school, and homework starts.

On the other hand, what I love about clubbing in Korea is that Korean guys like to dance on their own or with their friends, too. It’s less about grinding, although that does go on– boobie boobie, girls, I hope it happens to you someday, too!

Anime, Crunchyroll, &God of Bath

*Diary*

(Way back) in 2008 I was definitely obsessed with watching anything with DBSK in it, and that’s how I discovered CrunchyrollI first started using Crunchyroll when EVERYTHING was on it– before businesses starting cracking down on UCC (User Uploaded Content), and– I guess, when I had more time to BE on it. 

Now, Crunchyroll has a ton of anime, a lot of Asian– not just Korean, dramas and movies, and even some manga, making it just as loveable as it was five years ago.

So, in this post I want to share a “behind the scenes story” of my love for Asia– not just Korea, and tell you to check out Crunchyroll (and some more fun Korean study materials) if you haven’t yet!

^^

A Behind The Scenes Story

Ever since I was a kid, I loved anime (Sailor Moon and DBZ!) and Japanese literature. I can still remember reading Japanese ghost stories; and, I even read Shogun in high school since I was– and still am, obsessed with samurais.

I always had my head in a book, so I definitely didn’t and still don’t watch movies very often.

(Right now, the only movies I want to see are Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta and The Flowers of War starring Christian Bale.) 

But, as a kid I loved Mulan, The Karate Kid, The Golden Child, and anything about martial arts starring Jackie Chan or Jean Claude Van Damme. Later, I loved Kill Bill, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, and Memoirs of a Geisha.

(I also loved a bunch of period movies from the 80′s like The Breakfast Club and even movies from much further back like The King and I (1956), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), and Splendor in The Grass (1961).)

However, my favorite movies OF ALL TIME are dark, independent Korean films, but I also love action and adventure movies, historical and science fiction movies– but not really romances or comedies or romantic comedies, at least not as much as other girls that I know.

(I’ve never seen Titanic; and, I HATE Disney movies– minus the classics like Fantasia, Mulan, Pocahontas, and The Little Mermaid.) 

Anyway, I have my weekly variety shows, some dramas in my queue, and some books on my bookshelf, but suddenly I’m also craving anime! So, I went back to Crunchyroll for the first time in almost two years…

Crunchyroll

Now, I have six anime on Crunchyroll that I picked out and will be watching this week over Thanksgiving break *yay* instead of going home; but, I also need to start writing my final papers for three of my classes, so I’m going to start them over the break, too, and– hopefully, finish them early so I can make it home in time for Christmas before I leave the country and go to Korea.

When I watch anime, the most important thing I look for is how it’s drawn– the style. I’m really picky, and I don’t like most anime, because I don’t like the way they’re drawn. For example, my favorite anime OF ALL TIME is Yu Yu Hakusho *Yoko Kurama fan girl moment*, which has a really rare, hard-to-find style and one of the best stories– EVER. 

Yoko Kurama~

Yoko Kurama~

So, add in my preferred genres, and you might realize that I am really Really REALLY picky about my anime. I can’t watch it often since it takes forever to dig around and find one that I like.

(The last time I watched anime was when I was at home and on Netflix the whole summer BEFORE I went to law school. That was in 2011, but I still remember watching and loving Gun x Sword, Shigurui: Death Frenzy, and a bunch of yaoi.)

So, happy Crunchyroll-ing!

And, here is my page at Crunchyroll. There, you can check out my current addictions and my complete lists of (start-to-finish completed) Korean dramas, Japanese dramas, Taiwanese dramas, anime, comic books, and manga; and, feel free to add me if you are on Crunchyroll or decide to make an account.

Finally, if you want to study Korean and have fun studying Korean, then check out this popular Korean webtoon, God of Bath:

"The man with the hand of God starts the scrub battle to become the best bath coordinator."~

“The man with the hand of God starts the scrub battle to become the best bath coordinator.”~

god_class

The (diverse) cast and characters~

Hot guys working at a Korean sauna and action, comedy, and even romance. What more could you ask for to make studying Korean fun?

Just go HERE to start reading!

^^

A Dirty, Awkward Saturday Night

*Diary*

If you’ve never been clubbing on Dirty 6th in Austin, Texas before, then just think of how a street full of maybe ten blocks of nothing but bars and clubs could have gotten its name. I mean, this is a place where girls can drink for free and everyone can get in for free. Bars and clubs don’t close until 2 AM, and one club even stays open after that…

So, things definitely get– well, dirty.

“Mama.”

“Mama.”

“Mama.”

(This isn’t a “Mommy” mama. This is a “baby mama” mama.)

Read that aloud about ten more times, and you’ll hear what I heard as I was dancing with my friend, S-, at my favorite club last night. Her boyfriend– Korean, was somewhere nearby fending off creepers while we were on stage, which is just a foot higher than the dance floor.

By then, I had already been followed around by two guys. Then, another guy who said he came all the way from India told me to show him what “America” was like– he even whispered right in my ear even though I did my best to ignore him. Later, right when I got to my favorite club and was dancing on stage, I had my ass slapped by a clean-cut Asian boy wearing a suit. Who would have thought he’d be an ass slapper? I mean, do girls really dance with guys who slap their asses? Because, he was really surprised when I (almost) put my elbow in his face instead.

(Oh, just a typical Saturday night on Dirty 6th. You can love it, you can hate it, but you can never leave it.)

When I finally turned to look at who kept calling me “Mama,” I saw a cute, baby-faced Asian boy– we’ll call him Baby Face from now on, wearing red pants and standing right next to S-’s boyfriend. 

When Baby Face finally caught my attention, he got up on stage, stood in front of me, and said:

“I LOVE black people.”

It’s not the first time I’ve met Asian guys who like black people and black girls, so I said– coolly and kindly, “That’s nice. I like Asian people, too.”

Then, his friends– one was Asian and one was black, dragged him away while my friend and I just laughed. We were both pretty drunk and just wanted to dance– with each other.

(Trust me, by then EVERYONE was drunk– including Baby Face and his friends.)

Well, of course Baby Face came over again, and the first thing I asked him was, “How old are you?” He asked, “How old are you?” I waved him off at this point, because I don’t take attitude from boys, or anyone for that matter. Quickly, he said that he was 26, but he was definitely lying– and we all knew it, so my friend and I got him to admit that he was 23; but, he could have easily been 19, 20, or 21. He even pulled out his ID– totally unnecessary, but he didn’t show me the front and just said to call him “Moon.” 

So, he was definitely a Korean boy, and we definitely wondered where he picked up the habit of calling girls “Mama.” He tried to dance with me, but I just wasn’t drunk enough. In fact, my friend and I both admitted that I would never be drunk enough to dance with a guy like Baby Face– with a guy who wants to put on his red pants and bring his attitude to the club but leave his manners– the most important thing, at home.

Well, this (cute and harmless) creeper happened to be Korean, so let’s flip things so you really get the big picture.

I’m a black girl, or a white girl, or even a Mexican girl. Basically, I’m not a Korean girl. But, whatever kind of non-Korean girl I am, I’m at the club on a Saturday night, just as drunk as everyone else. Suddenly, I see a really good looking Korean guy standing with his group of friends. So, I walk over to him, and I say the following:

Oppa… Oppa… Oppa…

At first, he just ignores me, but when I finally get his attention, I tell him this:

I LOVE Korean people.

*Crickets*

*More Crickets*

Well, if that didn’t make you cringe, then something is wrong with you; and, you might have cringed for several reasons:

1. It’s pretty awkward to call someone you just met oppa.

2. It’s also pretty awkward to tell “X” person that you love “X” people.

So, I guess I just wonder why people can be SO awkward sometimes.

Especially when they’re drunk, downtown, and trying to pick up someone of the opposite sex before its 2 Am and they have to go home alone– again…

The Crazies

*Diary*

If you have no idea what I’m about to talk about, that’s fine. This is definitely a Dear Old Diary post, because a LOT happened this weekend; and, if you haven’t yet, take a look at all of my different categories and find the topics and posts you’re looking for!^^

(Also, I have a BUNCH of emails right now, but I haven’t had time to respond. I definitely got them, though, and I’ll be responding to everyone in a few days!)

I already blogged about Thursday night HERE.

(Definitely the best night out this Halloween Weekend, but Friday night is a close runner-up!)

Friday Night

My best friend T- came into town, and I and my best friend W- met up with him, his girlfriend, and one of his friends. They came all the way from California! We pre-gamed at their hotel, and then everyone but W- headed to 6th street.

It was still Halloween in Austin, so I was dressed up as Tony Romo– and wow, that last-minute costume from Ross was a hit! I’ve never been screamed at by so many random dudes in my entire life. I even met some of my other “teammates.”

We drank a lot. We danced a lot.

At the end of the night, we went to my favorite club, and that was A BLAST– I really need to go on Fridays more often! A lot of my girls (S- and R-) were there, and a lot of my Korean friends (and random Koreans in general) were there, too, so I got to see them. I danced with my girls… and then my oppa… and then my dongsaeng.

(Somehow, the original group all stayed together, though, and we just became this big blob of drunk, dancing people.)

Anyway, I met my dongsaeng while I was in South Padre. He was with the Korean boys I knew, and once we found out we were all in South Padre at the same time, they came over to our beach house, and we played drinking games. I STILL don’t know his name, but every time he sees me he bows 90 degrees– twice, even when he saw me at the club.

After the club closed at 2:00 A.M., I ran into the “ex-best friend” outside. She was talking to S-. I haven’t talked to her since February, and I’ve barely seen her since then, too. It was good to see her, though, and even though a LOT happened between all of us– including S-, I didn’t think of anything except how nice it would be if we could all just be friends again.

We caught up, and she immediately told me to be careful of her ex-boyfriend…

Speaking of her ex-boyfriend!

Today, he found out that I talked to her, and he went PSYCHOPATH on me, so he is no longer my dongsaeng, either.

This is what happened over KakaoTalk.

He asked, “What did she say to you?”

I replied:

“Exactly what you said to her. I mean, its not like I’m in love with you. You’re also not my boyfriend. I could care less if you’re talking to me and talking to her or some other girl, but you doing that shows how fucked up you are. I mean, honestly, you’re like a little brother to me, but I could never date you. I know exactly what you did to X-. Remember? Just because I don’t say anything about what you did to her doesn’t mean I forgot or that I don’t care. Sorry to call you out, but what is with you treating girls like toys for you to play with? 재밌니?”

He said, “재밌지.”

(Of course its fun.)

Things quickly escalated from there, and when I told him:

“That’s why no one loves you, that’s why everyone left you,” he said:

“That’s why I don’t love anyone. Haha”

Things quickly escalated again, but I stood my ground. I told him I meant all the things that I said, so I’m not going to play games and be mean NOW even though he definitely said things JUST to try to hurt me– since I hurt him.

I feel sorry for people who don’t know how to love.

I definitely feel sorry for him.

He’s crazy, and I always knew it; but, I wanted to help him– its the psychologist and mother in me.  BUT, I’m glad he finally showed me the ugly face he was hiding behind the mask he wore, because there was just something wrong about my ex-best friend’s ex-boyfriend…

They broke up for a reason– and, he was definitely that reason.

Saturday Night

We went out again, and this time W- came, too. We drank and danced. We made the rounds and said hi to all the boys working DT and got some free drinks. It was a typical Saturday night, and the extra hour to party made people both ridiculous and ratchet.

“You’re loud and skinny, but your butt makes up for it.” — Some girl in the bathroom at one of my favorite clubs.

And, that sums up this entire weekend: Ratchet, ridiculous.

We even caught the Korean boy one of my best friends (was) in love with for a year and a half making out with some random girl in the background of one of our pictures. Thankfully, today I found out that she ended their relationship on Thursday night, so it wasn’t a big deal after all.

By now, we ALL had had enough of 6th street, so we called it a night and went home early…

And this brings me to something that I’ve been wanting to say, but wasn’t sure how to say:

I know a lot of girls have this image of Korean boys being SO sweet and SO perfect, but you need to realize that they can also be CRAZY. I’ve seen my friends– Mexican, Chinese, White/Japanese, and Bulgarian, ALL get into trouble and go crazy after meeting The Wrong (Korean) Guy.

But, lets be real:

ALL guys can be The Wrong Guy (or The Right Guy). It has nothing to do with race.

So, the sooner you can tell the difference between the crazy guys (and the crazy girls) and the good ones, then the sooner you’ll be on your way to having the relationships you’re dreaming of– not ones that turn into nightmares.

Anyway, I hope you all had a good weekend, too, and when you meet someone crazy, don’t let them make you crazy, too. If you can stay by their side and (do your best to) help them, do it; but, don’t do it if you can’t– if you start to go crazy, too.

But, just who are The Crazies?

The crazies are the people who don’t know how to love– not themself, and definitely not someone else.

So, don’t think that someone crazy will EVER really love you. They’ll just pretend to, and one day, you’ll see the face behind the mask, too; and, you’ll be forced to ask yourself,

“Am I crazy, too?”

We live in a society that romanticizes people’s psychological problems, but depression, self-destruction, and suicide are NOT romantic. They are NOT okay; and, if something IS wrong, the first step in getting help is to let go of your pride, stare yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself:

“Something is wrong. I’m not okay.”

It was hard for me and all of my friends to do, but we did it. That’s why we’re here now– better, and still together.

Happy Halloween

*Diary*

I got out of class. I walked around aimlessly, running into Miley Cyrus, two bananas, and a penguin.

Finally, it was time.

I went home and put on my Strawberry Shortcake costume that I got for $20.00 last week at Buffalo Exchange. I left my place around 9:30 and picked up one of my best friends, W-. She is Chinese, and she was wearing the black swan costume that I tried on but decided not to get. Her guy friend from college, F-, who suddenly dropped into town on a business trip also came with us. He didn’t dress up.

I made small talk with F- in the car, and then the hunt for parking began. It was only 10:00, but 6th street was already packed. W- found a spot, and we got Good Parking.

I got out of the car and finally took a look at F-…

Damn, this fine piece of ass was in my backseat?

Usually, I don’t like going out with guys unless I know them, but F- was beyond cool. He was Chinese, as well, and super, SUPER good-looking. He was a little shy at first, but after talking, walking around on 6th street, and a few drinks, the dancing and debauchery began.

He was really protective, too!

I’ve never met a guy who actually noticed when other guys were checking me out OR creeping on me AND did something about it. I never even dance with guys (anymore, and unless I’m into them), but I danced with him.

He had some moves:)

Anyway, he had to leave early!

No, he doesn’t live here. Yes, my curse continues.

(Every time I meet a guy I like, he’s never from Austin, and he’s never staying IN Austin, either.)

 Hopefully, he comes back so we can party or just hang out again soon! I miss having normal guys to hang out with…

Thankfully, I’ll be out with the guys again (tonight), because one of my best friends, T-, who is Taiwanese, will be in town for the weekend! I haven’t seen him in forever, but we’ve been through thick and thin since I was a sophomore in college; and, that was a LONG time ago.

Anyway, as soon as F- left, W- and I got attacked by guys– like, she literally threw this squirrel thing off of her, and when he came back for more I had to get in his face. He was the worst, though. Surprisingly, most guys were pretty well behaved tonight.

Oh! I had no idea who Strawberry Shortcake was until last week, but A LOT of people recognized my costume and liked it. So, all in all, we managed to look good, fend off the creepers, and have a great night together on Halloween. We even got into our favorite club at the end of the night for free even though they had cover!

(It helps to know the boys who work downtown.)

We danced for FOUR hours, though.

My feet are killing me, but I’m really happy to have had such a great and eventful– but not dramatic, Halloween.

So, Happy Halloween!^^

Oops…

*Diary*

I am might be an idiot.

J- oppa, who I’ve never talked about before, hasn’t messaged me in months; but, along with my dongsaeng and gu boy, Y, who messaged me two nights ago, he messaged me last night and asked about my status on KakaoTalk– the one that says 나를 기다리고 기대하는 한남자, or “One man who is waiting for me, anticipating”:

Friday, October 25, 2013
[J-] [4:13 AM] who is 한남자…? (cry)
[J-] [4:13 AM] is there someone else other than me?
[제니퍼] [4:14 AM] no~ just what i want! haha
[제니퍼] [4:14 AM] aren’t you waiting for me?!
[J-] [4:14 AM] i am!!
[제니퍼] [4:14 AM] haha okay!^^ that makes me happy <3
[J-] [4:14 AM] so badly
[제니퍼] [4:14 AM] aaw, i wish i could go sooner and stay longer!!!
[J-] [4:15 AM] aw…staying 2 weeks is tooooo short
[제니퍼] [4:15 AM] i know… its going to be so cold, too.
[J-] [4:17 AM] yeah. bring a really thick jacket otherwise..
[J-] [4:17 AM] ㅋㅋㅋ
[제니퍼] [4:17 AM] haha you can keep me warm! haha
[J-] [4:17 AM] sure thing

Honestly, my status wasn’t about “what I want” OR any of them– not “Y” and not J- oppa. It was about D.H. oppa, because I thought he was the only boy still waiting for me, anticipating…

Oops.

I’ve already talked about Y and what happens When Korean Dramas Happen in Real Life, but…

I haven’t talked about J-oppa, and I don’t talk about J- oppa, because he’s REALLY different.

I guess, now I should.

We met in February through mutual friends– way before I started blogging. The first night we met, he held my hand and gave me his jacket when we were walking home from downtown. Then, he came to see me again, and he spent the night at my place. We were together all day, too. We went to lunch and then toured Austin with some friends. After that, we had a BIG samgyubsal party with our friends, but when we went downtown, we got into a fight…

Of course, we made up, and right before he left he told me he loved me and kissed my forehead…

>.<

(Isn’t that too soon? We only met twice, but I could tell he meant it.)

He went back to his university, and I thought he would come see me again, but he didn’t– maybe, he couldn’t. Then, he went back to Korea. So, we haven’t seen each other again since that night IN FEBRUARY.

(A LOT has happened since then.)

We always kept in touch, but just very casually, and he stopped talking to me right after I told him I bought my ticket.

(He was really excited then, too.)

Anyway, since I’m staying in Cheongdamdong, I”ll be 20 minutes away from him.

(Also, once again, he stopped talking to me really abruptly, but now I’m not SO worried about that.)

Like, Busan oppa, J- oppa is a Sagittarius; but, he is, of course, different from Busan oppa in a lot of ways– important ways. If Busan oppa was a “rough gentleman,” then J- oppa is just a gentleman. He’s really thoughtful, he’s really friendly, and he has a really big heart.

Once, right before she went to Korea in August, my best friend Jennie asked me why I always look so unhappy when I DO talk about J- oppa. I REALLY don’t know.

Okay, I do know.

He’s someone I was waiting for, anticipating, but I didn’t think he was really waiting for me. I mean, there are SO many girls in Korea…

Why would he wait for me?

(My ex-boyfriend didn’t.)

Short Note-to-self:

Stop expecting every guy to be like your ex-boyfriend.

“There were always different boys and men passing in and out of my life, but he is the only one who was always there.”

I guess there are other boys and men in my life, too, but I don’t always see them since they’re so far away and seemingly– out of reach.

Waiting, Anticipating…

*Diary*

This might be hard to explain, but I’ll do my best.

I was a mess. 

And, I had been a mess for two years– off and on, ever since I broke up with my first boyfriend. But, I functioned normally enough. I worked. I went to school. I went out with my family and friends. So, my family didn’t know. My friends didn’t know.

I didn’t know.

One night this past summer, it hit me, though, that I was STILL a mess. I couldn’t get out of bed the next day. I swear I cried under my sheets for hours.

I missed him– not the boys or men I had met. Him, the person who had loved me, sincerely, and had always been by my side. In my memories, there were many faces, but I couldn’t see any of them clearly– except his.

Its hard to wake up from a dream, but its even harder to wake up from a nightmare. Lying there, struggling as the faces of the people you thought you knew change and panic suddenly overwhelms you…

This summer, I woke up from a nightmarejust before it was too late, but isn’t that how it always goes?

I finally threw away the engagement ring my ex-boyfriend gave me when I was 21. I had to break a promise to him for the first and last time, a promise that I would keep it forever; and, I threw away a lot of other things, things I didn’t need anymore, because I needed more room in my hands for the things I need to hold– more space in my heart for the people I need to love.

These days, I’m settled into my new apartment. I’m keeping up with my classes, and excited about graduating from law school next semester. So, I’m also looking for a job that will be “challenging and rewarding.”

I will be going to Korea soon, and I will be staying in Cheongdamdong since I can have the room to myself!

I am excited to see my best friend– my unniher husband, and her baby– my old Korean language classmates who are living and working in Korea– my oppas  and dongsaengs– and maybe even EXO.

I also found someone I have been looking for, someone I was waiting for, anticipating, ever since I left Korea: D.H. 

(I talk about him in My Summer in Korea, Part 3: Dating in Korea.)

While I was in Korea, he would take the subway for an hour to see me, and he called me everyday after he got off work. We had so many plans: To see a movie, to play baseball, to go to Busan…

When I got in touch with him a month or two ago, the first thing he asked me was whether or not I was coming with my best friend. Only, we aren’t best friends anymore, but I suddenly remembered when she was all I would talk about.

Things change, and people change, too.

He’s the same:

아직도 나를 기다리고 기대하는 한 남자.

(One man who is still waiting for me, anticipating.)

There were always different boys and men passing in and out of my life, but he is the only one who was always there.

When you look back on your life, how many people are you still waiting for, anticipating? How many people are still waiting for you, anticipating?

Looking back, I don’t know if there were different boys and men going in and out of my life, or if I was going in and out of the lives of different boys and men— lost, waiting for someone they would never be and anticipating something they could never give me.

Things Oppa Said

*Diary*

“I don’t want to make you wait for me. It’s hard, and you’ll get hurt.”

(내가 와야 니가 안 힘들어)

“Love– not sex OR consideration, is more important in a relationship between a man and a woman.”

(사랑더 중요해)

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” 

(착하게 말해)

These are the things oppa said, but I would ALWAYS argue with him, especially when we first met. Why?

Well…

I wanted to wait for him, because I really liked him.

But, if I was waiting for him to come back right now, then I would miss him– a lot, and it would hurt– a lot. Instead, he’s a treasured memory, and we’re both happy– and we’re both not making promises that we can’t keep.

If we do meet again, then there won’t be any broken promises between us, either.

I like that.

“Consideration” (배려) or “Love” (사랑)?

My ex-boyfriend was always considerate of me.

(I wish there was a better translation for 배려, but there isn’t– or if there is, then I just don’t know it.)

My ex-boyfriend always took care of me and my friends– even my sister when he finally met her. We were in love, but because our love didn’t work out, I thought that if I had taken more care of him, then we wouldn’t have broken up even when we were long distance. So, to me, consideration suddenly seemed more important than love.

However, he told me that love was more important.

Looking back, he was also the first person that I opened my heart to since my ex-boyfriend.

(By then, I had finally thrown away The Ring.)

And, looking at him one day, I felt that feeling– one that I had forgotten: Love.

Now, I think that feeling– that love, is more important, because in that moment I realized how rare and precious it is.

I wasn’t always nice to him.

I was mean to him, because he made me nervous, and I didn’t know how to talk to him. Once, he even scolded me when I wouldn’t look into his eyes as we talked.

I was also jealous, and I didn’t like his job– something I told him the night we met and a few times after. He was at the bar almost every night– always drinking with customers, working late, and going home tired.

It hurt me to see him tired, but for some reason I couldn’t comfort him. He was older than me, and he was a 상남자 from Busan– not Seoul, or a “rough guy.” He was also a gentleman but always straightforward and strict– always short with his words.

So, after seeing how I was hurting him with my words and actions– even though I didn’t mean to and didn’t think I could hurt him, I started being nicer. I did those small things I had forgotten how to do, like smiling and saying oppa– both like I mean it. I left him lollipops when he was tired, and I looked him in the eyes when we talked.

It’s important to have boys or men in your life, and not just as lovers but as friends and “brothers.” It doesn’t matter who they are– what matters is that they listen to you, understand you, and do what’s best for you.

Because, good girls can say, “I’m right,” and great girls can say, “I’m wrong.” However, the best girls can say, “I’m wrong, but I’m going to make this right.”

Listening to the things oppa said to me again and again in my head almost everyday even though he’s already gone, I realized that I was just a good girl– until I met him.

I never thought I could be happy without my ex-boyfriend, so I spent the past two years trying to replace him.

I was wrong– I could never replace him. I was wrong– I can be happy without him. And, I’m a better girl, now, because of the things oppa said that made me realize I was wrong– because of my family and my friends who stayed by my side through thick and thin, helping me make things right.

This is what I said, in a poem I wrote in April when I had finally decided on my New Year’s Resolution:

“And this year I decided to break my habit of clinging to people I had loved but would never love again– to dreams I had dreamed, but would never dream again.”

… Because I want to fall in love again, because I want to dream again.

I hope you all have met or will meet someone who makes you want to fall in love again– who makes you want to dream again– who makes you want to be a great girl!

^^